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Industry Participants Finding Footing within Evolving Digital Securities Sector

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Industry Participants Finding Footing within Evolving Digital Securities Sector

Rotating Rosters

As the digital securities sector finds its footing, so too are the companies involved with its development. As a result, we have seen various hiring and shuffling among high ranking employees at a variety of companies within the sector.

While some of these moves were undertaken in an attempt to infuse operations with new talent, a variety were simply repositioning workforces to ensure employees thrive. The following are a few examples of rotating rosters this past year – some under the radar, and some high profile.

HighCastle

In a statement from Philip Millar, he touched on the potential of HighCastle.

“It’s very interesting to observe how the entire trading and investment industry evolves with the hype of technology and digital communications. I believe the development of blockchain-based investment marketplaces is bridging the gap between the new economy and institutions, fintech companies and their clients. I’ve recognized a huge potential in the HighCastle platform, technological and business ideas which the HighCastle founders are working to implement, and I’ve gladly taken the invitation to support and contribute to the Company’s growth.”

Polymath

This was a move that flew under the radar, as Polymath saw their Cofounder, and first CEO, Trevor Koverko, step down from his role. While he remains active with the team, day-to-day operations at Polymath are now overseen by Kevin North.

Smartlands

Smartlands has indicated that this move was undertaken in an effort to allow Arnoldas to concentrate on strategic expansion, in addition to business development. Smartlands indicates that building on his experience as CTO, Ilia was an ideal fit for replacing Arnoldas as CEO, due to the company’s focus on technological solutions.

Swarm

Duties associated with this role have been assumed by continuing Swarm employees. While Chris Eberle remains as an advisor with Swarm, he has transitioned into a new role with Netflix.

Templum

Speaking on her hiring, Kimberly Corrigan stated,

“Throughout my career, I’ve witnessed significant changes in public market infrastructure while the private markets’ infrastructure has largely remained unchanged. Joining Templum allows me to play a significant role in evolving the private markets by helping to increase exposure to alternatives through Templum’s industry leading end-to-end technology solution, which addresses a number of obstacles that both issuers and investors experience today.”

Overstock

Without a doubt, this changing of the guard remains the highest profile move in recent months. Patrick Byrne was an enigmatic leader of Overstock (mother company of tZERO). His ousting was truly bizarre, as the event was surrounded by storylines involving Russian spies, and allegations of market manipulation.

Thankfully, Overstock was ripe with talent, and was able to immediately promote a competent replacement from within their ranks.

Speaking on his promotion to CEO of Overstock, Jonathan Johnson had the following to say,

“Overstock has two unique businesses…I have run both, and I know how to unlock the value in each. I’m confident we can rapidly return our retail business to profitable growth. Our transformative blockchain businesses continue to lead their respective industries by getting real products into production.”

On-Going Process

As stated before, these are just a few examples over the past year of rotating rosters among companies within the digital securities sector. There will, no doubt, be more to come as these participants find their footing in the rapidly developing industry.

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iSTOX Builds Upon Recent Successes with a Further $5M in Funding

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Additional Funding

Capital markets platform, iSTOX, has recently announced the successful attainment of $5 million worth of funding.

This particular sum of capital was generated through a new partnership and investment, with Hanwha Asset Management.

Series A

This announcement of further funding comes meres months after the successful completion of the company’s Series A; An event which saw iSTOX draw the attention of various backers which believe in the future of the platform.

Between these two successive instances of funding, iSTOX should be well positioned to continue the development and adoption of their vision; A vision surrounding the potential of digital securities, and their ability to transform capital markets.

iSTOX Exchange Completes Series A Funding

Backers

To date, iSTOX has managed to attract attention from various high profile companies.  The following are a few of these known to have played a role in recent capital generation events surrounding iSTOX.

  • Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group
  • Heliconia Capital Management
  • Singapore Exchange (SGX)
  • Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings

This grouping of companies is an impressive one, as they represent some of the most influential and progressive ones found in Asian nations.

Commentary

With regards to the freshly procured $5 million, iSTOX CEO, Danny Toe, took the time to comment.  He stated,

“As iSTOX continues to grow, our relationships with partners like Hanwha are allowing us to build a powerful foundation to develop iSTOX into a pioneering service that addresses the evolving needs of 21st century investors…These partnerships will take on an even greater importance in early 2020, when iSTOX transitions into full operational status.”

iSTOX

Founded in 2017, iSTOX not only maintains headquarters, but is regulated within, the nation of Singapore.

CEO, Danny Toe, currently oversees company operations.

Hanwha Asset Management

Founded in 2011, Hanwha Asset Management maintains headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.  Since their launch, Hanwha has managed to establish a diverse set of financial offerings, bringing them alongside leaders in the sector.

CEO, Yong Hyun Kim, currently oversees company operations.

In Other News

A successful Series A is an important first step for any company.  Not only does this allow for the continued development of a company’s product/service, it indicates that others believe in their vision, as well – at least enough to invest their hard earned money.

Securrency Pulls in $17.75M during Successful Series A

The Future is Bright for Bison Trails as Series A Nets $25.5M

Upvest Secures €7 Million Series A

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US Global Securities to Act as ‘Lead Financial Advisor’ for $50M Raise by Custodial Platform, Koine.

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$50M Raise

Recognizing the need, and potential, for services surrounding custody of digital assets, Koine has recently announced their intention to host a $50 million equity raise.

The goal of this move is to facilitate, not only global growth, but the expansion of services offered through their platform.

In an effort to ensure their success, Koine has turned to US Capital Global Securities, placing the company on retainer as a ‘lead financial advisor’.

Past Experience

In the past, we have reported on US Capital Global Securities performing similar roles with other companies involved in the digital securities sector.  One example of this, was their role as a placement agent in the CityBlock DSO.

US Capital Global Securities to Act as Placement Agent in CityBlock DSO

Services Offered

While their suite of services offered will surely grow in time, Koine notes the following current capabilities:

  • Custody of Digital Assets
  • Real-time Settlement
  • FIAT storage and payment gateways
  • Online Access & API Connectivity

Commentary

Upon announcing their partnership, representatives from each, US Capital Global and Koine, took the time to comment.  The following is what each had to say on the matter.

Hugh Hughes, CEO of Koine, stated,

“Market reaction to Koine’s scalable, institutional-class solution for custody and settlement has been immensely favorable. As we enter 2020, we are focused on driving and supporting international participation in the digital assets marketplace with our applications for regulatory licenses in other trusted jurisdictions, in line with our aim to become the most highly-regulated solution for custody and settlement of digital assets globally…US Capital Global’s proven experience and valuable insight into capital formation, especially in the FinTech arena, will be tremendously beneficial to us at this crucial time in Koine’s development.”

Charles Towle, CEO of US Capital Global Securities, stated,

“It’s an honor to serve Koine as its placement agent and lead financial advisor for this upcoming investment opportunity as we engage selected dealers to expand the distribution of this offering. Koine is driven by an expansive, forward-thinking vision of the digital assets market that we at US Capital Global find very exciting.”

US Capital Global

In operation since 1998, US Capital Global is a well-known financial group, which is headquartered in San Francisco.  One of the company’s affiliates is US Capital Global Securities – a broker/dealer licensed under FINRA.

CEO, Charles Towle, currently oversees operations of US Capital Global Securities.

Koine

Founded in 2017, Koine maintains headquarters in London, England.  Above all, the company is working on the continued development of their suite of services, meant to solve custody and compliance issues within digital securities.

CEO, Hugh Hughes, currently oversees company operations.

Custody Solutions

As recently as yesterday, we were reporting on developments pertaining to custody solutions in the sector.  With rising institutional interest in digital securities, and blockchain as a whole, these custody based solutions are imperative for ensuring a bright future.

Hex Trust Custody Platform made Possible through IBM

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Hex Trust Custody Platform made Possible through IBM

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Hex Trust Custody Platform made Possible through IBM

Addressing a Common Goal

With rising institutional interest in the world of blockchain, products and services built with security in mind are paramount to ensure continued adoption.  With this in mind, IBM, and Hex Trust have recently announced a partnership.

This partnership, which is the product of an MOU signed between the pair in mid-2019, sees Hex Trust building a custody solution for the industry.  Development on the project being made possible through the use of Hyper Protect – a LinuxONE based suite of services developed by IBM.

Platform Capabilities

The capabilities of the platform look to be quite versatile, with support for digital assets of any nature – including digital securities.

The following is a brief list of only a few capabilities to be offered by the Hex Trust custody solution.

  • Reporting and monitoring
  • Multi-Factor Authentication
  • First & Third party key management
  • Hierarchical sub-account structures

Commentary

Upon announcing their partnership, representatives from each party took the time to comment.  The following is what each had to say on the matter.

Alessio Quaglini, CEO of Hex Trust, stated,

“Through our relationship with IBM as a Business Partner Hex Trust has hit a key milestone.  Leveraging IBM’s advanced data security and protection features through IBM Hyper Protect Virtual Servers with the dynamic accessibility and scalability, Hex Trust’s proprietary platform will encourage regulated financial institutions to enter the space.”

Ross Mauri, General Manager for IBM Z, stated,

“Data privacy and protection are key concerns for enterprises and customers within the digital asset business…By taking advantage of IBM Hyper Protect Services, Hex Trust can gain the benefits provided by the security and privacy solutions underpinned by IBM LinuxONE, to establish a highly secured platform for their institutional custody solution.”

Custody

With digital securities, and similar markets, expected to grow greatly in the coming years, there need to be solutions put into place that safeguard assets.  While many retail investors remain quite lax, with regards to the security of their digital assets, institutional players will not fall into this trap.  Only once there are sufficient safeguards in place, will they truly enter the market.

Development of such services has begun popping up throughout 2019, and look to continue that trend in 2020.  Whether it’s Gemini providing custody services to BlockFi, or Coinbase Custody supporting digital securities such as ‘BCAP’, there is evident growth.

IBM

Operating out of New York, IBM has remained one of the world’s most well-known tech companies for decades.  While the company has had various specialities throughout the years, they currently have an emphasis on cloud and cognitive based solutions.

CEO, Virginia Rometty, currently oversees company operations.

Hex Trust

Founded in 2017, Hex Trust maintains headquarters in Hong Kong.  Above all, the company specializes in offering blockchain based custody solutions.

CEO, Alessio Quaglini, currently oversees company operations.

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